An NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center
Emily Taylor Success Story Image

“Cancer hit ‘pause’ on my life. But with the support of mentors, family and friends, we are finally able to hit ‘play’ again.”

A former college athlete who has led a healthy lifestyle and never smoked, 28-year-old Emily Taylor was getting ready to celebrate her second anniversary with her college sweetheart when she discovered she had Stage 4 lung cancer.

Upon her diagnosis, she promptly began treatment at City of Hope and vowed from Day 1 that she would do whatever it took to survive, especially to two years of clean scans of showing No Evidence of Disease (NED), a significant milestone for lung cancer survivors and a positive indicator of long-term outcomes.

Taylor underwent a rigorous treatment regimen at City of Hope to fight her cancer, including surgery to remove her right lung, radiation and eight rounds of chemotherapy. Since starting a family was a priority for Taylor and her husband, Miles, they preserved nine embryos before cancer therapy.

During treatment — led by Karen Reckamp, M.D., co-director the lung cancer program — Taylor bravely withstood the intense therapies and their effects, but she was concerned about the disease’s effect on her family, friends and loved ones — including Miles.

“I once asked Miles to just relax and breathe easy, and he told me he’ll breathe normally when I’m two years NED . . . so I internalized his comment and earmarked that two-year date.”

That day came. “I broke down. I sobbed. I fell into Miles and cried. I let years of frustration and fear out of me,” Taylor said. “He held me and then whispered in my ear, ‘You’re going to be a mommy.’ And I cried even more, but with the biggest smile on my face.”

As of May 2017, Taylor is “four years NED.”